Science with laser guide stars at lick observatory

Donald T. Gavel, Claire E. Max, Scot S. Olivier, Brian Bauman, Deanna M. Pennington, Bruce A. Macintosh, Jennifer Patience, Curtis G. Brown, Pamela M. Danforth, Randy L. Hurd, Elinor L. Gates, Scott A. Severson, James P. Lloyd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations


The Lick Observatory laser guide star adaptive optics system has been significantly upgraded over the past two years in order to establish it as a facility science instrument on the Shane 3 meter telescope. Natural Guide Star (NGS) mode has been in use in regular science observing programs for over a year. The Laser Guide Star (LGS) mode has been tested in engineering runs and is now starting to do science observing. In good seeing conditions, the system produces K-band Strehl ratios >0.7 (NGS) and >0.6 (LGS). In LGS mode tip/tilt guiding is achieved with a V ∼ 16 natural star anywhere inside a 1 arcminute radius field, which provides about 50% sky coverage. This enables diffraction-limited imaging of regions where few bright guidestars suitable for NGS mode are available. NGS mode requires at least a V ∼ 13 guidestar and has a sky coverage of <1%. LGS science programs will include high resolution studies of galaxies, active galactic nuclei, QSO host galaxies and dim pre-main sequence stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsR.K. Tyson, D. Bonaccini, M.C. Roggenmann
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventAdaptive Optic Systems and Technologies II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 30 2001Aug 1 2001


OtherAdaptive Optic Systems and Technologies II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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